Earthworms in the Rain

I went out to get the mail one night.  It was sprinkling rain and dark, but I only planned to stay out for a minute.

It started with one earthworm.

It was struggling to get across the wet landscape of the pavement.  I knew my mom was going to drive her car in, feared even if it wasn’t crushed by her tire, it would hopelessly wander across the pavement until it dried out.

So I tried to pick it up.

I found that earthworms are hard to pick up.  They do not want to be picked up, and they curl up tight, as if you are wounding them by your touch.

I walked back, careful of my step, earthworms squirming across the pavement.  A glance at the garage bench showed a Q’Doba’s coupon flier, one of those stiff kind.  I went back outside and slid the flier under the earthworm, using my fingers to help.

But then there was another earthworm in my path on my way.  So I picked it up.

And I saw another.  And another.

There were so many.  Every time I picked one up and tossed it into the grass or mulch, another seemed to walk in the path.  The flier got wet, tore, and I used both sides to scoop them up and carry them back.

I began to get frustrated.  I couldn’t get the path clear.  Each time, another ventured onto the pavement, struggling through.  I scooped one and left him on the stones by the mailbox.  Hopeless.  Every time an earthworm was dropped into the grass, at least one more made its way to the pavement.

Why?  Why?

Why can’t the earthworms understand?  Why can’t they stay in the grass?  Why do they have to dry out and be run over by cars?  Why?

The problem I faced is so much less the difficulty God faces every day.  Because He chooses to be involved with us, He watches us walk across the earth on our destination to Hell.

Because He is good, He warns us to turn.

Because of His grace, He saves us over and over from the eternal consequence we keep heading for.  He gives us time and more time, placing us on the grass of another year, another day, another moment.

Because He is love, He lets us make our own decision in the end.  He does not trap us so we will be “free”.  He is not like that.  Though He rescue us from danger again and again, at last He leaves us to our own choice of Hell, if we are really sure that is what we want.

But until that last time we crawl back out from the safety of another minute where He has deposited us, until we breathe our last, He is scooping us up, dropping us back on the grass . . waiting, waiting for us to want His way forever.

He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9b, NIV)

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